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Alex Prybutok

Faculty Photo

Assistant Teaching Professor
Chemical Engineering

Pronouns: she/her


Alex Prybutok’s passion for engineering biology, improving engineering education spaces, and teaching has guided her work throughout her academic career. In 2016, she earned bachelor’s degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, where she conducted experimental research in antibody engineering, and survey and analysis-based research in student engineering identity formation. After graduating, she joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University, where in 2022 she earned her doctorate in Chemical Engineering working on projects in both computational biology and engineering education through research and service. Specifically, her thesis focused on developing agent-based models of cell-based therapies in solid tumors and integrating social justice and anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ARDEI) context into chemical engineering courses.

While at Northwestern, Alex participated in an array of teaching-focused activities, such as leading both department- and college-level Teaching Committees, co-instructing an undergraduate course, and completing and later mentoring participants in the Teaching Certificate Program at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching. Additionally, she was a co-founding member of the ChBE ARDEI Committee, where she collaborated on a variety of initiatives with undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, staff, and faculty. One of these initiatives was to develop a workshop for faculty on creating chemical engineering course homework and example problems that integrate concepts of ARDEI and social justice. The goal of this work is to contextualize engineering problems for students, thus creating more inclusive classrooms and fostering engineering thinking through an equity lens. Alex created a public, freely available website to share this workshop with interested faculty at any institution (

Alex is excited to bring her passion for engineering education, teaching, and ARDEI to the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Washington, where her focus will be teaching undergraduate courses, advising and supporting students, improving the Unit Ops Laboratory, and continuing to enhance equity in engineering education.


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2022
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 2016
  • B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin, 2016

Select publications

  1. Prybutok AN, Yu JS, Leonard JN*, Bagheri N*. (2022). Mapping CAR T-cell design space using agent-based models. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 9(849363). *co-corresponding authorship. Retrieved from
  2. Prybutok AN†, Cain JY†, Leonard JN*, Bagheri N*. (2022). Fighting fire with fire: deploying complexity in computational modeling to effectively characterize complex biological systems. Submitted to Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 75(102704). †co-first authorship, *co-corresponding authorship. Retrieved from
  3. Patrick AD, Prybutok AN, and Borrego M. (2018). Predicting persistence in engineering through an engineering identity scale. International Journal of Engineering Education, 34 (2(A)), 351–363. doi: 10.15781/T2ZC7SB9J. Retrieved from
  4. Prybutok AN, Patrick AD, Borrego MJ, Seepersad CC, and Kiristis MJ. (June, 2016). Cross-sectional Survey Study of Undergraduate Engineering Identity. Engineering Cultures and Identity Session, 123rd ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. New Orleans, LA. Retrieved from

Honors & awards

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016